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or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
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Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
A. R. Chase, C. A. Conover and L. S. Osbornel
University of Florida, IFAS
Agricultural Research Center Apopka
ARC-A Foliage Plant Research Note RH-1983-D
Production of Aglaonema has increased dramatically in recent years from
less than 1% of foliage plant production in the 1960s to more than 6% at
present. Originally, Aglaonema modestum (Chinese evergreen) and Aglaonema
commutatum 'Treubii' (ribbon evergreen) were the major cultivars, but many
newer cultivars, including Aglaonema 'Silver Queen', 'Silver King',
'Pseudobracteatum', 'Fransher' and 'Abidjan' have recently become more
important. Aglaonema grows best in fairly heavy shade of 73 to 90%
(approximately 1000 to 2400 foot-candles) with the higher shade level required
where temperatures may exceed 950F. Excellent growth can be obtained with
3-1-2 ratio liquid or slow releaseifertilizer when applied at a rate of 1200
to 1400 Ibs N/A/year (equivalent to 28 to 33 Ibs N/1000 ft2/year). Micronu-
trients must be added, especially copper, since a deficiency of this element
is common. Potting media utilized must have excellent aeration, as Aglaonema
does not grow well in heavy, wet mixes, although ample soil'moisture is
necessary. Good growth occurs when soil temperatures are 700 to 850F, with
similar air temperatures. Limited growth will occur at 650F soil temperature,
but any lower temperature results in poor or no growth. Additionally, tissue
damage as a result of chilling can occur whenever air temperatures drop below
550F, mainly on 'Silver Queen', but also on other cultivars at 500F or below.
1Plant Pathologist, Physiologist and Entomologist, Agricultural Research
Center, Rt. 3, Box 580, Apopka, FL 32703, respectively.
1) Copper deficiency
Symptoms Terminal leaves become chlorotic and sometimes even dwarfed
and deformed, with serrated edges. Older leaves become lighter
green than normal and, in severe cases, terminals and lower breaks
abort. Fransher is especially susceptible to copper deficiency.
Control Apply copper sulfate to soil surfaces at a rate equivalent
to 1.5 Ibs CuSO4/1000 ft2, or apply copper sprays to foliage. Always
include copper in the potting medium (1.5 Ibs Micromax or 3 Ibs
Perk/yd3) or use a periodic micronutrient application of copper.
Soil temperatures of 650F or below will contribute to copper
deficiency, as roots are less able to remove copper from cold soils.
Thus, soil temperature should be raised or foliar copper applied
during such periods.
2) Chilling injury
Symptoms Mainly mid to older (lower) leaves develop grayish spotting
and become chlorotic; lower leaves may collapse after 3 to 7 days if
damage is severe. 'Silver Queen' is especially sensitive to cold.
Control Keep 'Silver Queen' at least 550F to prevent damage and most
other cultivars 45 to 50F. The damage is permanent, but damaged
plants.will continue to grow unless terminals are affected by
3) Excess light and/or temperature
Symptoms Leaves assume a more or less vertical or low angle position
instead of the normal 45 to 90 angle from the stem. Leaf color will
also be light or display a washed-out appearance, and, in extreme
cases, leaf tips will be whitish (pale).
Control Provide recommended light and temperature levels and leaves
will reas-sume their normal position. Severely bleached leaves may
not fully recover.
4) Unknown (Bent-tip)
Symptoms The terminal leaf spike will have a fishhook appearance,
and some older leaves will also have a hook at the terminal.
Control Not known at this time, although excessive light and Water
stress have been observed to increase severity. The new leaf tip
appears to be obstructed and caught by the succeeding leaf, resulting
in the fishhook appearance.
Aglaonemas are subject to a variety of diseases, including those that
are bacterial, fungal and viral in nature. Although Aglaonemas are suscepti-
ble to these diseases, they are not commonly afflicted with all of them.
The most serious disease of Aglaonemas is probably bacterial blight and stem
rot caused by Erwinia spp. The stem rot phase is most difficult to control
since an infection may not be apparent until cuttings are removed and stuck
and symptoms develop seemingly overnight. In addition to bacterial diseases,
Aglaonemas are periodically affected by root rotting fungi and leaf spotting
fungi. Control of many of these problems should be based on use of very
clean stock plants and propagation material and maintenance of dry foliage.
MAJOR BACTERIAL PATHOGENS
1) Bacterial blights and stem rots (Erwinia carotovora, E. chrysanthemi
and Xanthomonas dieffenbachiae)
Symptoms Bacterial blight is typified by watery leaf spots which
frequently disintegrate. In general, lesions cause by X. dieffenba-
chiae are surrounded by a yellow border, but this occurs sometimes
with Erwinia blight as well. Bacterial stem rots caused by
Erwinia spp. are generally first noticed following sticking of
cuttings. At this time, the cut end of the stem becomes mushy and
foul smelling and the rooting of the cutting is delayed if not
altogether halted. The cuttings usually yellow quickly.
Control Control of bacterial leaf spots can be best accomplished
through use of clean propagation material and a watering system
that either does not wet the foliage or allows it to dry rapidly.
Both Agri-Strep and copper sprays may aid in control if applied
weekly during the summer months when the disease is prevalent.
Bacterial stem rot is not easily controlled once started. Use of
propagation material is the only successful method of cultural control
although some growers have reported roguing infected plants and
recutting viable ones prior to dipping in Agri-Strep as moderately
successful control methods.
MAJOR FUNGAL PATHOGENS
1) Myrothecium leaf spot (Myrothecium roridum)
Symptoms Myrothecium leaf spot is one of the easiest foliage diseases
to diagnose. Leaf spots are generally found at a wound site,
although it is common to find no obvious wound and very large (up to
1 inch) leaf spots. The spots are usually tan to brown and may have
a bright yellow border. Examination of the lower leaf surface shows
the black and white fruiting bodies of the pathogen in concentric
rings near the outer edge of the spot.
Control Control can be completely achieved if plant foliage is
maintained dry. In the absence of this control, fungicides are
effective. Although both Daconil and Manzate provide good control,
they are not labeled for this use. Benlate is labeled and provides
2) Root rot (generally Pythium spp.)
Symptoms Root rot is typified by wilting of plants and yellowing of
lower leaves. The roots themselves are brown to black, reduced in
mass and mushy. The outer portion of infected roots can easily be
pulled away from the inner core.
Control Use of pathogen-free potting medium and pots, and growing
plants on raised benches, can eliminate much of this problem. If
fungicides are needed, drenches with Banrot,'Truban or Subdue can aid
in control of Pythium or Phytophthora root rot. Since, many times,
other pathogens are also involved,' accurate diagnosis of the cause
must be made prior to choice or fungicides. Benlate is frequently
applied in addition to one of the above, for control of other common
root rot fungi, including Rhizoctonia and Fusarium spp.
MAJOR VIRAL PATHOGENS
1) Dasheen mosaic virus
Symptoms Plants generally show slight distortion and mosaic. The
mosaic may be in the shape of ring spots, which are yellow or dark
green on a medium green background.
Control Control of Dasheen mosaic virus of Aglaonemas is accomplished
through use of virus-free cuttings. This disease is not common on
Aglaonemas and does not appear to cause economically significant
losses in most cases. Since the virus is a serious problem on
Perfection dieffenbachias, control on Aglaonemas may be important
to keep other plants from becoming infected as well.
PHYTOTOXICITY OF BACTERICIDES AND FUNGICIDES ON AGLAONEMAS
Banrot 40 WP Ornalin 50 WP
Benlate 50 WP Subdue 2E
Chipco 26019 Truban 5G
Copper (some compounds) Truban 30 WP
Daconil 4.17 F Truban 25 EC
Pesticides were tested at recommended rates and intervals.
MAJOR INSECT PESTS
Aglaonema does not appear to be seriously affected by insect, mite or
related pest problems, with the possible exception of periodic infestations
of caterpillars (larvae) of lepidopterous insects, root-infesting mealybugs
as well as aglaonema and latania scales. In the control section for each
pest a few of the many registered and effective pesticides will be listed.
For a complete listing, please consult the references at the end of this
report. Close attention should be paid to all labels in order to determine
which materials are registered for use in the greenhouse.
Symptoms Mealybugs appear as white, cottony masses in leaf axils,
on the lower surfaces of leaves and on the roots. Honeydew and
sooty mold are often present and infested plants become stunted,
and with severe infestations, plant parts begin to die.
Control Systemic materials are preferred. Examples of chemicals
which have systemic activity are Dimethoate, Disyston,
Metasystox-R and Orthene. Bendiocarb appears to be as effective
as some of the systemic materials.
Symptoms Infested plants become weakened or stunted and begin to
die. Scales can be found feeding on leaves, petioles or stems.
Their shapes, sizes and colors are variable and many are hard to
distinguish from the plant material on which they are feeding.
Control See mealybugs.
3) Caterpillars (worms)
Symptoms Infestations are easy to detect becauseworms, their
excrement and the damage they cause, are usually quite visible to
the unaided eye. Damage appears as holes in the center or along
the edges of leaves. Old damage can be distinguished from new
by the calloused appearance of the older damaged areas (worms are
usually gone by this time).
Control Lannate, Orthene, Dursban, Sevin and Dipel are effective in
the control of various worm species.
PHYTOTOXICITY OF INSECTICIDES AND MITICIDES
Diazinon 50 WP
Pesticides were used at recommended rates and intervals.
1. Chase, A. R. 1983. Phytotoxicity of some fungicides used on tropical
foliage plants. ARC-Apopka Research Report, RH-83-2.
2. Short, D. E. 1978. Phytotoxicity of insecticides and miticides to foliage
and woody ornamental plants. Extension Entomology Report #57.
3. Short, D. E., L. S. Osborne, and R. W. Henley. 1982. 1982-83 Insect
and related arthropod management guide for commercial foliage and woody
plants in Florida. Extension Entomology Report #52.
4. Simone, G. W. 1982. Disease control pesticides for foliage production-
1982. Extension Plant Pathology Report #30.
Mention of a commercial or proprietary product or of a pesticide in this
paper does not constitute a recommendation by the authors, nor does it
imply registration under FIFRA as amended.